I've pulled the trigger on the Sony 50mm 1.4 :)
Now I would like to go back to the original question of "telephoto lens". Could someone explain what the prime purpose of say, the previously suggested 70-400mm?
Not that I am in a hurry to spend more on lens. The reason I am asking is because I need to decide whether to go for the Series 2 or 3 of the Gitzo tripod and I'd like to take future lens purchase into account.
I do not do any bird watching (in particular), I do occasionally shoot people from afar (e.g. in street festivals). But it's opportunistic, I doubt that I would carry a 70-400mm and a complementing (heavier) tripod all the time.
I would be interested in shooting fireworks, shooting stars etc. Especially for fireworks, I can prepare in advance, so the question is whether the 70-400mm is significantly better than, say a 70-300mm for such purpose.
Because it's too big and heavy to really be a walk around lens, I think it's intended primarily for wildlife and sports.
I don't think there's any particular advantage to shooting something like fireworks with the 70-400 vs 70-300. I guess in some ways it'd depend on how close you are to the fireworks. If they're like on the other side of the city or something like that, then 70-400 would be an advantage. Closer, perhaps not. When I've shot fireworks I've used my 18-200 usually set at about 85 or so.
The extra 100mm on the 70-400 over the 70-300 really comes into it's own when shooting wildlife. When I use mine it's always set at 400 and at times wishing it had even more reach. And I've considered a prime at 400 or greater, but the cost and weight are prohibitive.
Tripods are used to provide a steady platform, right? My advice would favour the heaviest and most stable one you can afford, well even if you can't afford it. There is a case for a lightweight version if you are hiking as anything is better than nothing but you still need a "real" one.
As riegal said, if you're not interested in Wildlife photography, I suspect the 70-400 is not for you as that's it's primary use. Whilst it is significantly better than the 70-300, you can't really use it handheld whereas you can with the latter and it's not at all bad and a lot less money to boot (2 pics below).
For Fireworks just use what you've got, I used a 24mm (36mm equivelent) for the image below, the face was shot at the same time but layered in. FL is not that critical but a tripod definitely is.
I would say to think hard about a future lens choice and then buy as good an optic as you can possibly afford. There's nothing worse than having to upgrade later, buy right and buy once.
A700 * Sony 70-300mm * 300mm (450 equiv) * f/5.6 * 1/1000sec * ISO200
A700 * Sony 70-300mm * 300mm (450 equiv) * f/5.6 * 1/1250sec * ISO200
A77 * Minolta 24mm (36mm equiv) * f/14 * 6sec * ISO100
Wow, those are some really lovely pictures :)
I will be hiking Mt Fuji in August and I heard you can see shooting stars at night. From my research (feel free to correct me), it seems that I do not need long lens for that either, and in fact my 50mm is quite suitable. So I guess that I will not worry about needing a tripod to support the 70-400mm in the foreseeable future (or the cost associated with acquiring the lens *laugh*).
I have no intention of skimping on tripods cost wise (hence I am looking at those painfully expensive Gitzo), but keeping in mind that I have some serious hiking planned this year (Mt Fuji, and another project involving 1200km walk over several weeks) weight and more importantly bulk is something I am concerned with. So now, I have to decide between the Series 1 and Series 2.
I don't think there's a "one size fits all" solution and many of us end up with two tripods.
I have decided that to go with a Series 1 Travel tripod. I figured that a travel tripod that I can take anywhere will see more use, and it will be miles better than hand held in any case.
The next big question is, does anyone know which tripod plates are compatible with the A65? Preferably one which which is compatible with RRS's B2 LR II.
(Almost) a 1 year bump.
To recap, for the past year I have been using the following 3 lenses on my A65: Tamron 18-270mm, Sony 50mm (1.4), Sigma 8-16mm. I now have a much better idea of what I shoot on a regular basis: landscapes, groups and live performance.
The Sigma can take of most of my landscape needs, though losing the use of filters might be a minus as I learn more about their use.
But neither my Tamron nor the Sony are perfect for group pictures. On a cropped body, the FF 50mm lens is just not wide enough when I have limited space. The Tamron does not have that issue, but it struggles in low light and even when I can use a tripod (some places do not allow it), it's not easy to get people in festive mood to stay still for over 0.5sec.
That's not to say that I have never found use for the zoom. In the past year I have been to one baseball game and shot a couple of animals where the extra zoom is kind of useful. But while it is possible to capture something to act as souvenir, they arent exactly my finest shots, and I have to conclude that I am not into sport photography, and wildlife photography is not a main priority either.
At the risk of hearing "I told you so" I am now looking at a fast short telephoto lens, and considering the aforementioned 16-50mm 2.8. As a DT lens, it is a bit of a bummer if I ever jump to FF, but having hiked close to 1000km on my existing gear, weight does matter, as does the size and cost of the body (that said, weather sealing is useful as I do shoot in wet/humid locations, so I will be watching out the A77's successor).
tldr: I am contemplating the Sony 1650 2.8. Is there anything else I should consider?
Tamron's SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 Di-II XR LD is a very good choice. You can find these around and for a very reasonable price.
I find the weight quite reasonable, at 18oz... significantly lighter than the 24-70mm f/2.8
It's worth a look.
Thanks for the reply.
What are the main differences between the Tamron 17-50mm and the Sony 16-50mm outside the extra width? On the previous page, Peekayoh seem to rate the Sony higher than the Tamron.
If money is no object, then sure, go with the SONY. Manufacturer glass (higher end) is always a good idea, unless you are not into getting your wallet shellacked. I like the idea of getting the TAMRON for 1/2 the cost of the SONY and be quite happy with the results. Remember, the TAMRON is the legacy screw-drive, not SSM. If you elect to go with the new TAMRON 24-70mm f/2.8 Di USD, it is Ultra Silent Drive [USD].
Originally Posted by TooNice
My recommendation: Buy both the SONY and the TAMRON, then do your own fine comparison... you can send the "loser" back for simply a restocking fee and know you had made the right choice.
I had done this, early on, when I was researching glass. At the time, there was no SONY 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM at the time. Most of the lenses available back then were ported over from Minolta, back in 2006-2008. SONY eventually discontinued many of the earlier Minolta lenses because they did not have the "parts support" to repair any of them (the parts were sold to third party, after SONY failed make good on Minolta's inital purchase price. Minolta, out of desperation, began liquidating itself and sold off approximately 35% of the Minolta Camera Division before SONY finally stepped up and bought what remained - 65%).
Anyway, the original "kit lens": SONY DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 was an absolute travesty. You were better off melting it down than ever being tempted to use it. The 2007 TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR LD Di-II was a godsend, over this lens or anything else available in the Alpha-mount at the time. If you added the SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR LD Di to your kit, you had decent focal-length coverage and plenty of light for most shooting situations.